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Comment: Summary missing punchline (Score 5, Informative) 107

by quantaman (#48004555) Attached to: How Did the 'Berlin Patient' Rid Himself of HIV?

According to the summary

Although the work doesn't provide a definitive answer, it rules out one possible explanation. [R]esearchers point to three different factors that could independently or in combination have rid Brown’s body of HIV.

Unfortunately the summary forgets to mention the explanation that was ruled out or even clearly delineate the three different factors (though the latter was more the fault of the original article).

From my reading of TFA:

Explanation 1: Conditioning: The radiation that destroyed his immune system also killed off the HIV (because HIV lives in the cells of the immune system).

Explanation 2: Shiny new immune system: The new bone marrow had a mutation that was immune to HIV and that cured him (maybe by detecting and killing HIV infected cells?).

Explanation 3: Graft vs host: The new immune system killed off his old one, not just the HIV infected cells but all the old immune systems cells including those infected with HIV.

So the researchers took chimps, extracted some stem cells (bone marrow?), infected them with SHIV (Simian HIV), destroyed their immune systems with radiation, then reinjected the uninfected stem cells.

The SHIV quickly came back which rules out explanation 1.

Comment: Re:People are not (necessarily) interchangeable (Score 1) 363

by quantaman (#47993579) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

That being said it kinda dodges the question of why they need more HB1s after laying off a ton of people whom presumably had the necessary qualifications.

You cannot presume that. While it's certainly possible that some of them did have the necessary qualifications, it is also quite possible (likely even) that most did not. If you fire an engineer you cannot replace them with an accountant or even necessarily a different engineer with a different skill set. Even if they did have the qualifications that does not mean they were available and willing to work in the jobs that Microsoft had available. To make up an example, if they fire some guy in Finland from Nokia because they want the development to take place in the US, it's quite likely the guy might not want to move to the US to take the job that is available. Maybe he has family and cannot easily relocate.

The person has to have the right qualifications, be available to do the work, be willing to locate themselves to where the work is and cost the right amount.

Alright, I'll buy that. I still feel Kamela's statement doesn't really address the question, but then again, the question was posted by the author of the summary and wasn't asked of Kamela, so he can't really be blamed for dodging a question he wasn't asked :)

Comment: Re:Geographic matching (Score 1) 363

by quantaman (#47992847) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

who later explained that about 60% of Microsoft's workforce is in the U.S., yet it makes 68% of its profits overseas

Which is pretty much irrelevant when it comes to software. There is no need at all in software to match development costs to geographic locations.

But it's relevant to the protectionist arguments people use.

People essentially claim that hiring workers outside the US is dishonest because they're an American company making money from the US. But most of their business (or at least their profit) comes from outside the US, if Microsofts' worker distribution matched its profit distribution (which may not be highly related to revenue distribution) then only about 30% of the workforce would be in the US. The current state of the company structure means that when other countries buy MS products they're putting money disproportionately into the US.

That being said it kinda dodges the question of why they need more HB1s after laying off a ton of people whom presumably had the necessary qualifications.

Comment: Re:Right... (Score 1) 478

by quantaman (#47968099) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

From the summary:

"Emanuel says that Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible."

Omitting the fad stuff, exercise and eating well improve the length of time you will remain healthy. The quote makes it sound like taking care of yourself will just let you hang on by your fingernails for a little bit longer. The opposite is actually true. Exercise, diet and mental engagement in particular improve health and mental function in old age, not necessarily overall longevity.

If you want to be a healthy octogenarian, take care of yourself now. If you want to be frail and going in for your third bypass operation, don't.

Exactly. If you want to discourage anything it's the heavy health care and heroic end of life measures used to slightly prolong low quality life. But he seems to be specifically talking about low cost measures designed to prolong high quality life. If you want a point to stop choose the point when quality of life drops off drastically. And if you want a simple cut-off (like his 75 number) choose something like being unable to live independently, or being unable to engage in topical conversation (notwithstanding disabled people).

I think a lot of people do pretty well until the last year or two when things go downhill rapidly, no point moving that last year forward but you may want to shorten its duration.

Comment: Re:In lost the will to live ... (Score 1) 794

by quantaman (#47966513) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

A rule of thumb:

If they can't communicate their idea in a simple readable summary, they're probably not worth listening to anyway.

Btw, who else loves the irony of someone complaining about "impenetrable jargon" while writing things like "Aristotelian 'science'", "Baconian science", "policy options we as a polity", and making a bunch of incoherent sentences.

Comment: Drinks vs foods (Score 1) 294

by quantaman (#47939803) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

This isn't the first study to suggest that taking artificial sweeteners in drinks is bad and correlated to obesity (though they didn't actually test a direct connection to obesity in this study). Previously the theory was that the artificial sweeteners caused greater hunger later on by priming the body to expect a rush of sugar calories and getting nothing instead. One implication of that theory was that artificial sweeteners in conjunction with a real meal might still cause less weight gain than real sugar.

This study might change that if the negative effects on the gut bacteria happen even in the presence of other food.

Does anyone know if there's artificial sweetener studies that tackle the question of whether taking them in conjunction with real food makes a difference?

Comment: Re:Why does business exist? (Score 2) 324

by quantaman (#47921083) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Fundamental question with what should be a simple answer. We pursue enterprise to benefit ourselves and profit. Not to serve as revenue generator to the state. The state is supposed to serve the people; not the other way around, but we keep coming around and forgetting the lessons of history and the basic nature of man.

If the state were not exceeding its mandate to serve the people, taxes would be acceptable and nobody would put that much effort into avoiding them because their result would continue to appeal to our interests. But there's never enough money for the state to be all the things it is promising to be, so the states are inventing structures for self-preservation of systems fundamentally doomed to fail.

Fine we implement your libertarian paradise and taxes drop drastically.

You've done nothing to fix this problem because you misunderstood it.

Corporations don't avoid taxes because they're too high, they do it because it's profitable. Corporations compete by competing at the margins, if a competitor in your libertarian paradise goes from a very low tax rate to a slightly lower tax rate then you'll have to follow otherwise you'll be at a competitive disadvantage. If you are a libertarian this shouldn't be a surprise but gospel. The essence of libertarianism is people acting as rational self-actors, so why would you expect corportations to leave free money on the table just because the pile is a bit smaller?

Comment: Re:Lets not forget (Score 1) 635

by quantaman (#47911767) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

That is one of the most idiotic replies I have ever received. You sir are trolling, and inventing statements never made to troll with.

I'll admit I should have granted more leniency because the OP mentioned Gore, and as such was already political. But you still took the opportunity to take a shot at Obama and talk about Agenda 21 and I don't see why were either of those were relevant. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with talking about either in general, but when you take a comment with political content and respond by injecting additional political commentary it suggests you're more interested in the politics than the science.

Comment: Re:Lets not forget (Score 1) 635

by quantaman (#47910547) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Why do I get the feeling your opinions are driven by partisanship instead of science and economics?

Probably because instead of asking for my opinion you provide your own. You can read my post history, I'm anything but partisan on just about every subject. False dilemmas don't really address problems, they merely cover them up.

I wasn't projecting anything. You may not be partisan in the sense of Republican/Democrat but the fact your comment grinds unrelated policial axes suggests that ideology is very present, at least in the context of that comment.

Comment: Re:Some thoughts (Score 5, Informative) 635

by quantaman (#47910209) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

The point is that less ice in Antarctica was bad because it would contribute to sea levels rising. If global warming is helping reduce sea levels, then this is a good thing, right? (Yes, I know thermal expansion probably is the main driver, so it's still probably going to be a net "bad.")

Sea ice is irrelevant to sea levels.

Land ice matters for sea levels, and the land ice is shrinking.

Comment: Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 3, Insightful) 635

by quantaman (#47910119) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Well given that 5 years ago Al Gore said in 5 years time the Arctic will be completely ice free and it's completely covered in ice still, I would say they have a point. Back to the drawing board with the models at least. If there is one. Which I doubt.

Why are you talking about the Arctic in an article about the Antarctic?

Furthermore why are you talking about Al Gore and models? Sure Gore is somewhat important in his role as an advocate, but Al Gore saying something wrong doesn't mean the models are wrong, it's means Al Gore is a politician who doesn't know the science. I'm not up to date on the models but I never got the impression that an ice free artic in this timeframe was the consensus of the scientists (sure, some thought it could happen, but that's not the same thing).

Btw, on that topic the Arctic ice is still shrinking.

Comment: Re:Shipping Claims (Score 0) 80

by quantaman (#47871737) Attached to: Northwest Passage Exploration Ship Found

The real thing to take out of this article is the political angle: Canada funded the expedition in the hopes it somehow gives more weight to their claims over the shipping lanes invariably opening up as the arctic ice cap disappears.

A process only aided by the Conservatives extreme reluctance to do anything about global warming. It's actually kinda brilliant.

Step 1) Deny climate change

Step 2) Northwest passage opens up

Step 3) Profit!!!

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